Dorchester — Jul 12th 2016

Sheena gave a very comprehensive introduction to Facebook and reassured us that users do not have to reveal very much about themselves or their contacts to the World. Many different setting options tailor the degree of privacy and security users want. Messages and notifications can be directed to an individual, specific named people, or to a closed group. Sheena finds it a great way to keep in contact with friends, particularly those living far away. To post photos and locations with brief notes during holidays is a great way of keeping family and friends informed. Her Facebook page has attracted one or two customers to her business, and she suggested that with proper attention and some paid-for advertising, Facebook can be a very good way to attract business. Sheena spends just the occasional few minutes checking notifications and posting anything relevant.

Mick spoke about Internet security. He pointed out that the hardware firewall now incorporated in modern modem routers — even those supplied (free) by ISPs are more effective that the software firewall on Macs or any other computer. Mick’s Mac Firewall is turned off in System Preferences > Security&Privacy > Firewall. He recommended that members test their firewall by going to and running their test. After selecting Proceed, click on “File Sharing” and you should see Stealth Mode Achieved. Click on “All Service Ports” and a matrix of 32 x 32 squares are displayed showing all the ports, and again they should all be green. Green (stealth mode) means that the port can’t be seen, the best result. Blue (closed) means the port can be seen but will not respond, and Red (open) means the port can be both seen and contacted — disaster! Those using Apple Airport without an upstream modem router with firewall will get a Blue result, not Green Stealth [but it passes the Universal Plug ’n Play (UPnP) Internet Exposure Test with flying colours - DM]. Mick pointed out that email is the greatest source of malice because of Phishing and the one aspect that Apple cannot do anything about is user response to emails. His advice is clear: however convincing an email from a company (such as Apple) may be — a typical email might claim that your account “has been locked for security reasons, click here to sort the problem”, don’t click on any link in the email but go directly to the Company’s website via your Browser and check that it’s unlocked there. In the event, you will almost certainly find that the account is not locked!

Gill Francis asked if anyone had an answer to a problem she was having: when uploading photos to Photostream they are sorted by the date uploaded and not the date the photo was taken. Any suggestions?

We finished the evening with a brief video about how Siri is being developed to answer quite sophisticated “normal language” questions and how it writes a small program to set up the logic to understand the question and work out the answer, a facility that will also be available to App developers. in the future.


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